Our family has attended or had experience with several schools in the district and Sleepy Hollow is the best! The principle really cares for the students; he knows every child's name! The teachers have various teaching styles and a diverse background. The building is older, but well maintained. The best part, is the strong community feel! Many of the parents here are very involved in the learning, school activities, and staff. The school is small as well which provides opportunity for families to get as involved as they want to. This small community school is big on extras...art program, 4 & 5 chorus, an elaborate fun fair, holiday parties, etc. I see families from other schools in the area and recent elementary graduates at these events all the time which proves that this school has things the others just don't offer.
I have talked to many parents of students at this school. The principal who stepped down as of 2011 caused headaches for a lot of parents (said principal has decided to step out of school administration). When a child had an issue, nobody really sat and talked to the child about circumstances, and so children got 'labeled' by the administrators and teachers. Teachers' skills vary greatly, the best of them was a veteran teacher in the fourth grade, who actually took into consideration individual learning styles. Others were not competent, and left or were 'transferred'.
My son was enrolled for Kindergarten at Sleepy Hollow Elementary 2007-2008 year and I was extremely disappointed. The classroom size was too large for any of the students to get the appropriate attention they needed. My son always was sent home with cards stating that he was bad in class, and instead of discussing the problem with him they would put him in the corner for the remainder of the lesson. The cards would have the problem written on the back so I would be able to discuss it with him when he came home but half way through the year there was nothing written so I didn't even know what he was in trouble for. I had conferences with the teachers and thought that would help if I told them he needed more help with his phonics but they seemed to pay less attention since they figured he was a 'problem child'. The only thing I found to be a success was the Christmas recital which I greatly enjoyed. I changed my son's school for the following year and it was a complete opposite. He was sent home with notes every day stating that he was a joy to have in class and that he was a great help in the classroom. It seemed to me that Sleepy Hollow wants their students to be only one way and have no special characteristics of their own. I do not recommend this school.
I have a kindergarten who goes to shes and we love it. I wish he would be able to stay for the whole 5 years. Excellent school. but he will be going to a different school I am hoping they are as great as shes.
I have all 5 of our children through SHES,with only 2 left in that building. The others are now in middle school. The building itself is old; however, the staff in it is very fresh! The teachers go above and beyond and the leadership of the current principal is awesome. The ptc has many hard-working parents and you can be as involved as YOU want to be. The families involved there are good families with high values. Yes, there are better schools out there I'm sure, but I also know that my children have had a terrific elemeentary foundation with a phenominal staff that cares about their academic, social and personal growth.
My daughter has attended Sleepy Hollow for the past five years. She has received a great education from wonderful and caring teachers. As a university professor and an educator of teachers myself, I am very happy with the interaction and pedagogy that the SHES teachers employ. Awesome Teachers!
Dual income families who want involvement in the school will find it difficult to find opportunities. PTA meetings etc. are all during the day. Communication is poor with little advance warning of events for working parents. The school does have lots of single-income-mother involvement, which is great, but it would be nice to draw in more fathers, and more working moms. Additionally, teaching is very 'formula', and rules are strictly interpreted. Kids are *not* learning to think for themselves but rather how to follow a formula to get to an answer, which I find disturbing. The intentions are good, but poorly executed.
I would like to stress how much of themselves the teachers give to make this school and incredible place to learn, laugh and love. Both of my children have attended this school and have received an exceptional education. Thank you Sleepy Hollow School and staff.